Who’s That Gal: Miracle Olatunji, Founder of OpportuniMe and Director of Innovation at Thrive
Name: Miracle Olatunji
Occupation: Founder of OpportuniMe and Director of Innovation at Thrive
Hometown: New Castle County, DE
Current ‘hood: Boston, MA
Currently reading: Becoming by (Queen) Michelle Obama
I never leave home without____: lip balm and a water bottle!
Tell us a little bit more about OpportuniMe. What is it and why did you start it?
I decided to start OpportuniMe while I was in high school after I realized how time-consuming and stressful the process of searching for summer programs and opportunities was for me and thousands of young students around the country. OpportuniMe connects high school students to opportunities that will help them explore possible careers, build their network, and get a head start on finding and developing their passions before they head off to college.
Most people your age wouldn’t even think it’s possible to start a company until they’re older and more experienced. What gave you the confidence to get started so young?
When I was in my junior year in high school, I participated in an amazing youth entrepreneurship program called the Diamond Challenge. It helped me to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Before the program, I knew absolutely nothing about business and entrepreneurship but I was enthralled by the challenging and exciting process of solving problems, creating value, and making a difference. I was so inspired by many young entrepreneurs I had met, like Justin Lafazan and Haile Thomas, who were working on ventures that made a significant impact on the lives of other people and in society. Their energy and passion was contagious and I quickly caught it!
What has been the most rewarding part about starting OpportuniMe?
Being told that I was inspiring people to make a difference and to create solutions that positively impact others. One moment when I realized this was last semester when I had the opportunity to speak at Harvard’s Young Women In Business and Leadership Conference, and one of the high school students in the audience came up to me afterwards and told me this. This was so humbling, encouraging, and reminded me of my purpose and my why behind starting OpportuniMe. When OpportuniMe won the grand prize in the World Series of Entrepreneurship competition, that was also such a special moment. I’m so grateful for all my advisors, family, friends, and everyone who has supported me every step of the way!
What’s the hardest thing about starting your own business?
Initially, it was not having experience starting a business before and not knowing what to do at times. But I soon realized that in order to overcome that, I just needed to keep going and I would learn as I went along. I’m thankful for also having mentors and advisors who give me support and guidance when I need it!
What advice would you give to a young person with an interest in entrepreneurship?
You have the ability to solve problems, make a difference, and create value! Young entrepreneurs are drivers of innovation, economic growth, and can make a positive impact in their communities and the world. Entrepreneurship helps youth to develop valuable skills such as leadership, collaboration, public speaking, critical thinking, and more!
We hear that you’re currently working on a book. What’s it about?
I am! It will be my first book and it’s titled Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact. The book is about how current and aspiring leaders and innovators can leverage the power of purpose to make an impact in not only their lives but also the lives of others, their communities, companies and organizations, and the world.
How did you balance your school work and running a business and still find time to write?
Honestly, Google Calendar is such a life-saver. It helps me manage my time and see where it is spent the most. It’s also really fun to use and I color-code based on what it is I’ll be doing at the time- whether it’s time blocked out for writing, business, classes, social, and more!